Painting a house is a big decision. But the funny thing is, your neighbors have to look at the color you choose more than you do. So why not let them pick the color? That’s what this family did! Their survey took off more than they expected, so now anyone can add their vote to the thousands here. If you don’t like color 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, you can suggest your own for color #6. For the neighbors’ sake, hopefully “hot pink” or “highlighter yellow” isn’t a write-in winner!
Wee ones: Look at the picture. How many vertical (up-and-down) white stripes of paint can you count on the house separating the colors?
Little kids: If “Wild Orchid” gets 7 votes and “Blessed Blue” gets 2 more than that, how many votes does Blessed Blue get? Bonus: If color 1 gets 1 vote, color 2 gets 2 votes, and so on up through color 5 getting 5 votes, how many votes is all that?
Big kids: What if the house painters choose 2 colors? How many different pairs could they make from the 5 colors? Use a, b, c, d, and e to name and combine the colors. Bonus: If 11 people in this neighborhood vote, but 12 times as many people as that in the rest of the city vote, how many people in the rest of the city vote for their favorite color?
Wee ones: We count 6 white stripes!
Little kids: 9 votes, because 7 + 2 = 9. Bonus: 15 votes! You might’ve noticed you can pair off numbers to make 5s: 4 + 1 and 3 + 2, and one more 5 makes 15.
Big kids: 10 pairs: ab, ac, ad, ae, bc, bd, be, cd, ce, and de. Bonus: 132 people in the rest of the city vote. You can use partial products: 12 x 11 = 10 x 11 + 2 x 11 = 110 + 22 + 132.
Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.